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Statement from Conservation International

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(CNN) -- A previous article that appeared on CNN's Eco Solutions presented erroneous information about Conservation International (www.conservation.org), a nonprofit groups that works in more than 40 countries to help people protect vitally important ecosystems.

Conservation International (CI) has created funding mechanisms such as the Global Conservation Fund to give local partners the financial ability to implement long-term conservation strategies through protected areas. The owners of these protected areas in such cases are national governments, communities and private landowners -- not CI.

CI works with corporate partners around the world to engage the private sector in developing solutions to environmental problems involving industry. It believes that working with the business community ensures an improved environmental performance, a reduced ecological footprint and critically important investments in conserving high-priority biodiversity.

CI cites its history of corporate partnerships, through the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, as having achieved conservation achievements in collaboration with some of the world's biggest companies.

For example, CI's work with McDonald's resulted in shifting the purchase of more than 18,000 metric tons of fish to sustainable fisheries. In Peru, CI ensured that investments by Aveda have allowed indigenous communities to choose sustainable sourcing of Brazil nuts over selling their land to logging concessions, thereby conserving tropical forests.

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CI also cites its 12-year relationship with Citigroup that has promoted sustainable community-based management of natural resources and supported environmentally friendly small businesses in Peru, Brazil, South Africa and Vietnam. Citigroup has been working with the Rainforest Action Network in recent years, with the latter organization praising Citigroup in 2005 for its commitment to enforcing environmental policy.

The World Bank is a vital partner with CI in the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), a pioneering funding mechanism that has enabled more than 1,250 civil society groups to help conserve high-priority conservation regions in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Other CEPF partners are the government of Japan, L'Agence Française de Développement, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Global Environment Facility.

CI has never encouraged, condoned or supported the eviction of any people from their ancestral lands, including local or indigenous people within a protected area or a proposed protected area. If working in a region where conservation-related actions could negatively impact the indigenous communities, CI says it makes its opposition to such actions clear.

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CI says it has helped many local and indigenous communities, such as the Kayapó in Brazil and the Wai Wai in Guyana, to protect and manage their lands in ways that help ensure their own long-term physical, social, and cultural security. CI also cites its Indigenous and Traditional Peoples Initiative, which supports the participation of indigenous and traditional peoples in conservation planning and action wherever the organization works.

CI invites anyone seeking further information to visit its Web site at www.conservation.org.

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